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College campus construction breathes life into downtown Sydney, N.S.


The sound of construction work in downtown Sydney, N.S., is hard to tune out, but it's music and money to the ears for businesses in the area.

“We have been seeing the benefits from the first announcement when they said they were looking to move to downtown Sydney,” said Michelle Wilson, executive director at the Sydney Downtown Development Association.

The new Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Marconi Campus is now being built on the waterfront.

Wilson says it's created an economic buzz.

“Over the last couple of years, since construction has started, we've seen even more businesses open despite construction and COVID and all of the other barriers that you think would deter someone from opening a business,” said Wilson.

The new facility is slated to open in the fall of 2024 and will accommodate 1,400 students and nearly 200 staff.

It's 60,000 square feet bigger than the current building, and NSCC principal Carla Arsenault says it will offer tremendous opportunities for the community and students who will go there.

“We will have modern classrooms and a state-of-the-art facility. It really will give opportunities for increased programs and overall having a beautiful space in the heart of downtown,” said Arsenault.

According to the latest census data from Statistics Canada, Sydney, N.S., has seen a 2.6 per cent population increase over the past five years.

Arsenault expects that trend to continue because of projects such as this one.

“You are starting to see a lot of growth in this community. Properties are starting to turn over a lot quicker,” said Arsenault.

Wilson credits the revitalization of Charlotte Street, Sydney's main core, as a result of the NSCC move.

“All of these things are really making for an exciting future for us,” said Wilson. Top Stories

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